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The original item was published from 2/11/2019 12:29:54 PM to 2/11/2019 1:56:04 PM.


Health - Public Health News

Posted on: February 11, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Preparing for Winter Weather

Snowstorms can knock out power, create unsafe road conditions, and make it risky to be outside for long periods. We have resources to help you prepare to stay healthy during winter storms.

Power Outages – Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can’t be seen or smelled. It can kill a person in minutes. It is produced when any kind of fuel is burned, such as gas, oil, wood or charcoal. If the power goes out:

  • Place generators outside and far from open windows or vents.
  • Never use a generator inside house, garage or carport.
  • Do not use a charcoal or gas grill indoors to cook.

Your home’s CO monitor provides additional protection against carbon monoxide poisoning, but it shouldn’t replace other prevention steps. Learn more about how to prevent CO poisoning from the Washington State Department of Health.

Food Safety During Power Outages

When in doubt, throw it out! If you lose power to your fridge or freezer, food that isn’t kept cold or isn’t cooked properly could make you sick. Follow these tips to know how to keep your food safe during a power outage.

Stay Warm

Hypothermia is most common at very cold temperatures. But it can occur even at cool temperatures if a person becomes chilled from snow, rain, sweat or being in cold water. This infographic from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention can tell you how to recognize, prevent, and treat cold weather injuries like frostbite and hypothermia.

Cold Weather Shelter 

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, the Lighthouse Mission is Whatcom County’s central intake point for cold weather shelter. They are able to provide safe, warm spaces at their shelter, Drop-in Center, or with their partners in the faith community who have additional shelter beds available for those who need them.

  • Programs are available 24/7 and hot meals are served daily.
  • Overnight guests can check in at the Mission daily at 6:30pm.

For more information on winter weather safety and health, visit

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